Beacon v. SOM: What Architects Should Know

Beacon v. SOM: What Architects Should Know

An AIA East Bay Monthly Program

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
AIA East Bay, 1405 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94612
5:30pm, wine and cheese reception to follow
$15 for AIA members and employees of AIA East Bay Chapter Member Firms
$21 for non-members

Please Click Here to Register

1.5 CES LUs

The California Supreme Court ruled against SOM in Beacon vs. SOM this summer. The  Court ruled that architects owe a duty of care to future homeowners in the design of a residential building where the architect is a principal architect on the project.

This panel will provide architects and firms with an understanding of what they need to know to navigate the new waters of the post-Beacon legal landscape. Our panel of experts will include attorney David E. Barker of Collins Collins Muir + Stewart, who wrote a court brief on behalf of the AIA California Council, and attorneys Jennifer W. Suzuki and Bruce N. Furukawa of Long & Levit LLP, who specialize in the representation of architects and design professionals. This panel will explain the facts of the Beacon v. SOM case and how architectural practice may change as a result of this ruling, and what architects can to do in the future to mitigate the potential for liability.

About the Presenters

David E. Barker, Collins Collins Muir + Stewart – David Barker practices in the areas of professional liability and corporate transactions. Barker focuses on representing architects, engineers, contractors, and insurance professionals, and has served as lead trial counsel representing clients in federal and state courts, and arbitration in matters of contract disputes and negligence. He has served as amicus counsel on behalf of the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Architects California Council.

Jennifer W. Suzuki, Long & Levit LLP – Jennifer Suzuki specializes in corporate, partnership, and business law. Her practice includes the formation, merger, acquisition, and dissolution of business entities, , counseling of clients concerning issues arising from their professional service agreements and general business issues such as fee collection and the use of liens as a fee collection tool. Ms. Suzuki’s practice focuses on the representation of professionals, including architects, engineers, and attorneys.

Bruce N. Furukawa, Long & Levit LLP – Bruce Furukawa is a Partner in the Design Professionals Defense & Counseling Group, primarily representing and counseling architects and engineers. He has represented design professionals, contractors, and business owners in a wide range of projects related to transportation, municipal works, commercial high-rises, waste-water treatment plants, wetland development, and residential development.

Kurt Cooknick, Assoc. AIA, AIA California Council – Kurk Cooknick, Assoc. AIA recently celebrated his 18th year with the AIACC. He is a devoted advocate on behalf of the architectural profession in California, and is currently the director of regulatory affairs for AIACC.

With Moderator

Malvin Whang, AIA, University of California, San Francisco – Malvin Whang, AIA is a Senior Project Manager for UCSF and is 2015 AIA East Bay President Elect.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this presentation, attendees:

  1. Will be able to state three relevant facts of Beacon v. SOM.
  2. Will be able to state at least two key outcomes of the case.
  3. Will be able to identify at least two ways to mitigate the prospect of litigation.
  4. Will be able to state at least two misconceptions with regards to the results of Beacon v SOM.



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